Social media is a huge big deal. Billions of people use some form of social network and many of these people use more than one platform.
With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so many more, it is easier than ever to connect with your audience. But to stand out from all the noise, you need to really address your followers needs.
With this in mind, we have put together some tips to help you create a strategy which will draw in customers and keep them.

Define your audience

If you run a business, you should already know your customer demographic. This knowledge can be further developed to help create worthwhile social media content that will entertain, inform and engage with your potential customers or ‘followers’.
You really need to understand your clientele in order to provide them with content that they actually want to see and this will also help you define which social platform is most appropriate to target your pre-defined audience.
Conducting research on your target customer is the first step in developing an effective strategy. Understanding the demographics, needs and requirements of these customers will help develop relevant content that will engage, inform and catch their attention. Remember, your audience’s time is a limited commodity, why should they share that time with you? Create persona’s for your customers, put yourself in their shoes, use some imagination to develop relevant content..

What is your company’s mission statement/goal?

Ask yourself what is the objective of this exercise? What do I hope to achieve? Write it down. Focusing on your end goal will help you to stay focused on what you should be posting on social media. If your goal is to introduce a new product into the market then your social media content should revolve around this product.
It is worth noting here that if your goal is simply to get more likes or shares of your page then you will struggle. These goals rarely bear fruit as they are not linked to your company’s growth, revenue, or expansion. Obviously, more likes and shares will help to draw in paying customers, but this objective should not be the end goal. You want to grow your business, not become an internet sensation. Focus on measurable objectives, and focus on efficient use of your time.

Form a strategy step-by-step

Selling on social media is a long game, some would say Social Media is not about sales, but rather about engaging your audience. If you outline your objectives it is easy to plan each step necessary to get there.
It is not about how many Social Media avenues you should pursue, it is about who are the people you need to communicate with on-line, what message you need to deliver and how you will do that. Communication needs efficiency, otherwise it gets expensive. If 80% of your customers are on instagram, maybe, you should concentrate on just instagram. Do it well, do it consistently, and not only will it be effective, it will save you a lot of time and effort dabbling in every conceivable avenue.
Making sure you have a complete overview of your marketing strategy will help you stay in tune with your goals and objectives. Success is a series of small steps, so break this strategy into steps, and take the steps one by one, if you get sidetracked along the way it is easy to pick off where you left off if there is a set of steps, a ‘to do’ list of sorts.

Understand that you can’t do everything!

Social media covers so many different areas of expertise, and even if you think you have a good grasp of all the areas… you don’t. Even if you did, you really don’t have the time.
Understanding this will make your life so much simpler. Hiring outside help may seem like cheating but there is so much untapped potential out there waiting to help. People that write blog posts, or designers who create visually inspiring artwork to enhance your website or Instagram posts. Delegating these tasks will take free you up to do more fruitful work.

Be ready to Adapt

Marketing is about delivering a message, check if you are getting your message through to your potential customers and adapt along the way when necessary. Plus, social media is a fast changing industry, you cannot expect the same methods to work next year.
Social media is great for communicating a message, but your audience are not always listening to the chatter. You need to recognise if your strategy needs some new ideas or channels.
Also understand the need for variety across the different platforms. What you post on Facebook may not work on Instagram, and vice versa.

Embrace failure, sometimes your efforts will fall on deaf ears, that does not matter, realise there is a silver lining, because knowing what doesn’t work on your audience is pure gold. Adapt and conquer.